What was the impact of liturgy on the development of orthodox doctrine in the early Christian church? With renowned liturgical historian Maxwell E. Johnson as a guide, readers of Praying and Believing in Early Christianity will discover the important and sometimes surprising ways that worship helped to shape what was believed, taught, and confessed. In particular, Johnson considers this relationship in terms of
- soteriology: What is the role of grace in the process of salvation?
- Trinity: How did early devotion to Christ and the church's baptismal and eucharistic liturgies help shape the developing doctrine of the Trinity?
- Christ and Mary: What does the devotional and liturgical term theotokos say about them both?
- ethics: How does the liturgy contribute not only to doctrine but also to convictions about morality?
Johnson also explores the ways this relationship worked in the opposite direction: How did doctrinal developments shape liturgical texts in the patristic period? This is an excellent text for beginning students in liturgical studies at the master's level.
Maxwell E. Johnson is professor of liturgy at the University of Notre Dame and a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of more than fifteen books, including The Rites of Christian Initiation; The Origins of Feasts, Fasts, and Seasons in Early Christianity; and The Eucharistic Liturgies (all from Liturgical Press). He is a member of the North American Academy of Liturgy, Societas Liturgica, and the Society of Oriental Liturgy.